(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

xii                               GRAMPUS AND KILLER                           375
seven to twelve on each, side* confined to anterior end of
jaws. Skull raised into a prominence behind the blow-hole;
pterygolds large and in contact. Pectoral fin long and falcate;
dorsal fin present. No beak. Vertebra! formula C7, Dll, Lll
to 14, Ca 27 to 29. Six pairs of the ribs are two-headed.
The best known species of the genus is the Ca'ing Whale,
&. melas* This animal reaches a length of 20 feet, and is thus
one of the largest of the Delphinidae. It is gregarious and was,
even is now^ much hunted in the Faeroe Islands. Its sheep-
like habits (embodied in one scientific name deductoT) enable
it to be easily driven on shore in herds^ which are then har-
pooned. The foetus of this Whale has a few hairs ; the number
of phalanges in the two middle digits is very great* as many as
eleven to fourteen. G. scammoni, G. "brachypter'us, and €r. indices
are other reputed species of the genus allowed by True and
Blanford.
G-ra?nj)'us is a genus allied to the last. It has no teeth in
the upper jaw, and but three to seven in the lower jaw, near the
symphysis of the mandible. The pterygoids are in contact.
There is no beak, and the pectoral fin is long. There are twelve
pairs of ribs, of which six are two-headed. Apparently there
is but one species, &. griseus, known as "Basso's Dolphin."
It is a Mediterranean and Atlantic form* and is not common.
The genus Oreo, has as characters:---Teeth ten to thirteen*
long and strong. Pterygoids not quite meeting. "Vertebrae
C 7, D 11 to 12, L 10, Ca 23. The first two or three fused.
The dorsal fin is long and pointed.
Of this genus there may be more than one species; but the best
known is the Killer Whale, Q. gladiator (Fig. 180, p. 341), often
spoken of as the " Grampus." 2 It is marked with contrasting bands
of white or yellow upon a black body-colour. The animal grows to
a considerable length, as much as 3 0 feet. Oreo, is a powerful and
rapacious Whale; and Eschricht has stated that from the stomach
of one, thirteen Porpoises and fourteen Seals were extracted. They
will also combine to attack larger Whales, and Scammon has
related how he witnessed such an onslaught upon a CaJiforniaB.
1 See an essay on the hunting of tMs Whale, by & H. O. MiiH«rf in JR&* em$
msheri&st Edinburgh (Blaclcwood), 1888,
* Onznpos "being a comtraotion of grcmd pwimon, is MI obriotis Bate* to apply
to any Whale.